Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal: Bumble in the Jungle
GW What gear did you use on Chinese Democracy?
THAL I had an old Marshall JCM800 that I brought in for a lot of my stuff. My whole thing is that I’m on an eternal quest to get that classic Eddie Van Halen sound. And I know I’ll never get it, because I don’t have his fingers, his energy, his body. But I try. For guitars, I brought in my Les Paul, my Foot guitar and my fretless. The Paul is an ’89 reissue of a ’59, and it sounds really nice. The majority of my parts on the album are that guitar through the 800, and then sometimes I added a [Boss] Blues Driver or a wah in front of the amp.
GW So now that the album’s finally done, a large-scale tour seems imminent. Do youhave any idea what the next few years of your life will look like?
THAL [laughs] Does anybody?
GW No, but your situation seems much more like a case of your hearing things on a need-to-know basis.
THAL I could inquire and probably find out a lot more, but I’m kinda happy doing things this way. It’s the whole “ignorance is bliss” concept. I don’t want to know things until I have to know them. In fact, my brain is so overloaded with everything right now that I want to know less. That way I can focus on just making music, and nothing else. I’d rather just wait until I’m right up to that bridge, and then I’ll cross it.
GW It makes it easier for you to juggle those different balls.
THAL Exactly. I’ve been walking a little funny these past few years, trying to handle these lopsided balls. But I’m doing it. And besides, there are much worse things that people deal with. I could lose a limb. I could be battling a serious illness. My biggest problem to work around is that I gotta record and tour with Guns N’ Roses? Fuck, I’ll take it.
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